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My Own Robin Hood
“I do believe that you owe me my prize, M’lady”
“I do not believe I know what you are talking about Robin. The silver arrows were already awarded.”
Robin then reaches for her small hand and curves her fingers over the top of his.
“Now I do believe I know which prize you are talking about,” Marion giggles and as they lean into each other for a kiss a shower of autumn leaves falls around them. Lifting her face towards the lights Marion laughs and the audience applauds as the red curtain closes. Her first show as a lead had gone well. As the cast exits to the lobby greeted by the crowd of the night Lily checks her reflection once in the mirror of the dressing room just in case Steffen had decided to come. After plucking a few stray leaves from her brown hair she glided out and was complimented by many members of the audience. Little girls in their Sunday best came up to her and shyly asked for her to sign their programs. Smiling, she answered all of their questions her hazel eye glancing into each child’s, giving them each a hundred percent of her attention. In her peripheral vision she scanned the room looking for any other signs of familiarity. Then she spotted Gideon’s red coat. He and the rest of her friends were in a tight conversation laughing and joking. It hurt a little a small dagger to her heart but she continued until the kids went off to claim Robin as their next victim.
During the time that Lily was with the kids Gideon nudged Steffen in the arm asking, “Wow are you jealous of that kid that plays Robin?”
Steffen just laughed it off then stopped, “Should I have gotten her flowers? I mean girls like flowers, I asked her to prom with flowers. Ruth and Beth got her some.”
Gideon just shook his head, “Really, you could have asked her out tonight with flowers and you messed that up. I just don’t know what she sees in you. Kidding kidding,” were the last words he managed to say before Steffen packed a punch. But as soon as they saw Ruth’s death stare they stopped.
“This is a big deal for Lily, don’t mess it up for her by being boys.”
Both of them stuffed their hands in their pockets and glanced over at Lily. She had just finished with the last picture and was walking over, a huge smile on her face, “thank you so much for coming guys. This means the world to me.”
She gave each of them hugs, when she came to Steffen though her smile held that special glow just a little bit more. He, however, couldn’t tell the difference which gave Lily’s heart a small shake as to say wake up he doesn’t care about you that way.
Shrugging it off she asked, “so how did you like the show?”
Gideon answered first, “Steffen really liked it except for the ending he-“a brief stomp on the foot from Steffen stopped his sentence.
Steffen glanced over at Lily but she and the girls were already talking about the show, her makeup, and costume. Sighing, he knew that he could never tell her how he felt. A strange ache in his heart caused him to sputter the words, “I should get going, “ no excuse to add but Lily glanced at her feet then back up, “how about I walk you to the door?”
“No, it’s ok I know my way back.”
“I know, how about for company?”
“Sure, I guess.”
Silence became their companion as they walked the carpeted floors. Lily kept glancing towards his blue eyes then back at her feet praying that she wouldn’t trip over the hem of her costume. Her mind was at a constant battle with her. She knew that at some point she needed to tell him about her feelings for him. Was now the right time? She questioned, yelled, and prayed to God about all of this before. This could be her last chance. And if anything she knew that she could use the energy and drive that his answer would give her for her performances, with either answer.
“So Steffen, can I ask you a hypothetical question?”
He gave her a puzzled look, “Sure, I guess.”
“Alright, what if this girl really liked this guy it’s their senior year and they are both going to different colleges. If you were the guy would you want to know?”
Steffen stopped and stared at his tennis shoes. Those same shoes he’d asked her to prom in, the same shoes that she had asked him to the winter dance in. Seeing the funny motif he laughed. Lily’s face fell; of course he would laugh it was a stupid question.
“Never mind, you don’t have to answer it’s no big deal.”
“Oh, no wait. I wasn’t laughing at you. And I would want to know if I was the guy.”
“Well in that case,” she pulled back a strand of her curled hair and tucked it behind her ear, “Steffen, I need to tell you something. Ever since I officially met you at Gideon’s party I had a crush on you. And I still have one on you.”
Silence. Lily stepped swayed back and forth clutching the material in her hands. There she had done it. She had exposed the one part of herself that was the most vulnerable now. Ever since her parents split and horror that she went through, he wasn’t answering just standing there. Her heart seemed to cry on the outside and she stepped back and turned toward the dressing room. Steffen grabbed her arm, “wait, you never let me answer. I do care about you in that same way. That’s why I asked you to prom and why I went to breakfast.”
He watched as one tear rolled down the side of her face, washing away the foundation on her face. Under all of the makeup he saw someone who needed to be cared for and loved. Someone with a heart for God who had gone through so much and all he wanted to do was fix her broken heart. He had heard rumors about what she had gone through, where she had been, and what she had tried to do to herself. Her trust was fragile as a butterflies wings and he wanted to cherish and protect the trust she had in him.
In a chocked voice she asked, “Really”
“Yes, of course,” he pulled her into a hug and held on for so much longer than he had ever before. She had no idea where they would go from here but, she knew that for once she felt safe in the arms of someone besides Michael and that was a good feeling.
The director called for a final picture so she walked out of his arms and glanced back with a smile. The rest of her friends were smiling and jumping. After the flashes of the camera she headed back with the rest of the cast and changed into jeans and the show tee-shirt. The green of the shirt changed her eyes to green. Finally like in her poem green earth and blue skies matched. She giggle to herself and confidently walked out. There all of her friends were waiting to take her out.
“Where are we going?”
Steffen answered, “I was thinking Ihop for banana pancakes.”
Lily laughed, “That sounds perfect!”
She jumped into her van and turned up the radio and followed her friends to the restaurant. Bobbing her head to the beat of the music she beamed in the hope and love of that night. “God is good” she thought. All of her prayers had brought her to this moment. Thinking back of how things could have changed made her appreciate ever more so the amazing ability of the Lord to plan her life in perfection through the imperfection.
Once they all bunched into a booth and ordered they began talking about the show.
“So Steffen, you never actually answered my question,” Gideon said.
Steffen looked confused, “what question?”
“Aren’t you so jealous of that kid that plays Robin?”
The entire group groaned, “really Gideon? Really?”
But they laughed after that. Gideon was just one of those guys you can’t be mad at for long because he always messed something up. Conversation was stagnant for a little bit which was normal. Lily was thankful for that she didn’t really want anything to change just because the group dynamic did.
“So Lily,” Steffen began, “I dare you to try strawberry syrup.”
“Challenge accepted,” she replied, and then poured it on her pancakes, it spluttered out and looked like blood, “Ew, no just kidding I am so not doing that, there’s no way.”
“You accepted the dare,” Beth said.
“I know but I didn’t think it would look so, unappetizing. So now I dare you Beth to put blueberry syrup on yours.”
“Fine challenge accepted.”
Needless to say each of them took the challenge and once they were finished everyone went off to the car that they carpooled in. Steffen walked Lily to her car, “So, would it be bad if I wanted to text you tonight?”
“I don’t know,” she said her eye gleaming in the light, “I might not answer; I’ve got another big show tomorrow.”
“Oh,” he turned his face toward the black top.
“Hey, I was kidding. I would love it if you would text me tonight. But just a warning, if I don’t answer that probably means I fell asleep. Now you can’t say that I didn’t warn you.”